Aug. 19, 2017 marks the 75th Anniversary of the fateful raid on Dieppe by 6108 Canadian soldiers. John Mellor in his book DIEPPE CANADA’S FORGOTTEN HEROES, describes in detail the attack, battle and aftermath.
He notes that of the “6108 Canadian soldiers who left England for Dieppe, France 2,853 were killed, wounded or captured”; page 213. Wikipedia states that of the 6,086 men who made it ashore 3,623 (almost 60%) were killed, wounded or captured. Whatever the exact number; this was a devastating loss for Canadians (race, creed or culture was not an issue)-these were our Canadian soldiers period. I sometimes think they were like lambs for the slaughter.
Those captured were marched through the streets by their German captors with their hands up in a humiliating march to magnify their loss. Below is a picture from a German newspaper; taken from a journal our dad, Private James Molloy, #B37575 P.O.W #42881, Royal Hamilton Light Infantry kept. He maintained a Wartime log while in captivity in the hospital (he sustained major head injuries, furthermore shrapnel came out of his body for the remainder of his life) and then a hellish prison (although-he never once complained to his children of the conditions) for the remainder of the war.
English translation of German Article:
“The British invasion attempt at Dieppe was a major defeat. The German Abwehr forces on the watchdog prepared a quick end to the enemy landing troops. Only the captured British entered the interior of the country.”
There are some who think the lessons learned at Dieppe prepared the allied forces for future raids in North Africa and Normandy; not much solace to the families of those who lost loved ones.
However, they were able to share in the ultimate victory.
To our Dad; Private James Molloy –you are a HERO to your 5 children, their respective partners, 6 grandchildren (and partners) and two great-grandchildren. You lived your life with grace, humility, compassion and laughter.
Thank you Dad.
Pte. James Molloy